Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Personal Kanban Update

So I've been using my home Kanban board for about a month now. As I suspected, it is a bit of a challenge to use a physical board with as much travel as I do. My approach so far has been to review the board before I head out on a trip, figure out what will be in my working queue, and capture that electronically. When I get back home, I update the board. I think I have to go to an electronic version of a kanban board, but I haven't looked into that yet.

I've also started reading Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry. I'm almost done and it has given me some other ideas.

One idea is setting up a special flow for different tasks; in my case when I do writing. My writing takes on a different flow than just from doing to done. I found with writing articles or papers, I go through a step of laying out the outline, then I go through a first draft where I try to get my thoughts on paper, a second draft where I try to make my thoughts more coherent, and a final review to check grammar, punctuation etc.

I also like the idea of having a "Today" column. That gives me the ability to look at everything I have going on that day - tasks, meetings, work in progress - and decide what else I think I can get done.

One area I still need to improve on is capturing all my tasks. Right now I am only putting the bigger tasks on the board, not all the little tasks I have going on. I think I need to do this to really get the full effect. In general though, setting up my personal Kanban has helped me get more organized.


Anonymous said...

Nice post Bob! For online PK, try Agile zen or Lean-Kit Kanban. I know Agilezen is free for one user for sure. I have been using that since few months now, in addition to physical board at home.

Tyson Morrison said...

I think that what you are touching on here is a new phenomenon in today's management industry. I like how your blog isn't typical of some of the excessively process-driven project managers out there.

What I would consider this post (and your zen-pm blog in general) to really be about is work management. I don't use this term for its disciplinary definition, but more as a "mind-set." A company I work for uses AtTask, where I can manage my work in a way that feels natural to how the human mind works.

I think it's a profound idea that is actually replacing the project management scene, or, at least, reforming the strictness of some of its methodologies.

Scotty Bevill said...

Hey Bob. I know of a group that allows for the simplicity of management and a web reporting system that can run on a server or on your own workstation. At Project Cards they offer a platform that is free with certain limitations that I think more than meet your needs (it does mine).

The free version of ProjectCards can be used by a team of two users and is limited to servers hosting 4 projects with a maximum of 200 cards per project.

It is also not possible to edit definition of the custom fields.

We @bevilledge have used project cards for a while now and it just beats the other platforms. If you want to know more about it, let me know. I can even give you test of our system. The best part about it is that it's free and all of your data stays local. You can back up one folder and life stays good. Best of luck in all of your decisions.